Omapodi (Sev)

Is this your first Diwali, have you always been buying Diwali snacks from the stores and want to break the habit this time, have you always felt nervous about making Diwali snacks at home, look no further. Here’s a recipe that’ll give outstanding results even for folks who are just beginning to cook. With just a…

Chickpea Biryani

This is one of my recipes that was featured in Chennai’s (India) complete food magazine A La Carte’s Sep 2012 issue. This is also one of my family recipes and it is my mother-in-law’s. She makes amazingly wonderful biryanis and my husband can trade anything in the world for her biryanis. You can imagine how challenged I…

Pulikachal and Puliyodharai

How many of you remember the torrential rains from the hurricanes in Chennai during the 1980s? Those pitch dark days with no power; those kerosene lanterns burning round the clock; those wierdly scented coils to drive the mosquitoes away and those little battery operated transistors that were the only source of news!  The incessant noise…

Kesar Kulfi

Kulfi is an Indian creamy frozen dessert  enjoyed by people of all ages. It might sound wierd to you, but I’ve always seen Kulfis being eaten quite late at night. At least in Chennai where I grew up, street vendors used to bring their Kulfis in a tricycle covered with a red cloth after 10 pm. They used…

Masala Vada

This lentil fritter is a very common South Indian street snack. They are crispy, crunchy, spicy and so very tasty. My father is a big fan of Masala Vada and I cannot miss to think of him every time I make/eat it. He’d definitely feel happy to see me get better making these. This recipe…

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

 Kids love paneer. This creamy, slightly sweet and mildly spicy dish pleasantly flavored with butter is also very kid friendly. Paneer Makhani aka Paneer Butter Masala is a very tasty dish but considered to be quite unhealthy. I’ve made an attempt to minimize the unhealthy aspects of this dish as much as possible, while still retaining its…

Thakkali Thokku (Tomato Pickle)

Thokku is a pickle variety in which the vegetable is pureed or finely grated. Thakkali Thokku is a very traditional South Indian condiment., Thakkali means Tomato in Tamil. It is most commonly used as a dip for Idly, Dosa, Roti etc., but it goes along very well with a whole lot of other foods. I…

Pudhina Pulao (Mint Pilaf)

Pilaf/Pulao, is a dish in which rice is cooked with vegetables or meat and flavored with spices. The rice is cooked in a broth or milk or just plain water. There are hundreds of different varieties of pulao and it is a dish that is very  common to South Asian, Middle Eastern and Carribean cuisines. Pudhina is…

Spicy Curry Coated Chickpeas

You may have tasted quite many chickpea curry dishes. Most of them have the chickpea soaked in the curry. This recipe calls for a thicker curry that just coats the soft and tender chickpeas. They taste even better if you let the curry coated chickpea sit for a couple of hours after making. The chickpeas…

Sweet Pongal (Sarkkarai Pongal)

Sweet Pongal is a rice pudding sweetened with jaggery and specially prepared for India’s harvest festival called ‘Pongal or Sankranthi’. Now, this is my most favorite of all dishes prepared for this festival. I can have Sweet Pongal as my main course, fill me up all the way to my throat and still ask for more :). My mother…

Medhu Vadai

Vadais are savory lentil donuts of South Indian origin. ‘Medhu Vadai’ is a popular and most sought after type of Vadais. The crispy outer layer and soft/spongy inner layer makes it an irresistible snack/appetizer.  I have not yet come across anyone in India who is not a fan of this super yummy food. I know of people who…

Cherry Tomato Rasam

Rasam is a South Indian comfort food. It is kind of a clear soup that is normally mixed with white rice and eaten as a second course of a South Indian meal. Some like to have it just as a soup. No matter how you have it, it helps you feel light and comfortable even…